Spicy, saucy chickpeas simmered in Tex-Mex spices topped with crispy tater tots makes for an irresistible vegan comfort food meal! Bonus: this tater tot casserole comes together in just a few steps and can be prepped ahead of time for a super easy weeknight dinner.
Coat the bottom of a large (preferably oven-safe) skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the carrot and onion. Sauté for about 10 minutes, until the carrot begins to soften and the onion is very soft.
Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper and continue to sauté for about 1 minute more, or until very fragrant.
Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, water, and tomato paste. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat and allow it simmer until the sauce thickens up a bit, about 10 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the corn and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
If you're using a non-oven safe skillet, transfer the mixture to a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Otherwise, leave it in the skillet. Smooth out the top.
Arrange the tater tots on top.
Bake, uncovered, until the chickpea mixture is hot and bubbly, and the tater tots are crispy, about 35 minutes.
Divide onto plates and serve with toppings of choice.